The European Union (EU) member states plan to launch new planes and helicopters to combat wildfires, while additional firefighters will be sent to Southern Europe, Reuters reports. According to experts, the wildfire risk is growing in areas that have not previously been vulnerable.
“The last few years have seen our greatest challenges so far,” Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said, adding that wildfires have been observed in areas that have not previously been prone to fires.
According to the commissioner, in the last ten years, there has been a 350 percent increase in requests for assistance under the RescEU program. It includes a fleet of medical and firefighting planes as well as a stockpile of medical items and field hospitals that can respond to emergencies. For the coming wildfire season the RescEU firefighting aircraft reserve will include 24 planes and four helicopters from ten member states. In addition, 11 EU member states will send about 450 firefighters to Southern Europe.